The opening ceremony of the helicopter training center, established with the assistance of Russian and Venezuelan specialists, took place on 29 March 2019.
Venezuela has been Russia's largest partner in military-technical cooperation in Latin America since 2005. A significant quantity of Russian weapons and military equipment, including the Su-30MK2 multirole fighters, Mi-brand attack and transport helicopters, tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, tube, rocket and missile artillery ordnance, advanced air defense systems and Kalashnikov AK-100 series assault rifles, were delivered to the country. This enabled the country to quickly acquire sufficient capacity to reliably ensure national security and defense capability.
The state-of-the-art helicopter training center was built under a contract between Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) and CAVIM (Venezuelan Company of Military Industries), a Venezuelan state-owned firearms manufacturer.
Upon arrangement of the parties, the Venezuelan flight and maintenance personnel underwent training in the Russian Federation to operate the Center while Russian training simulators (both motion- and fixed-base), various equipment for classrooms, simulator control centers, etc. were supplied as well as the appropriate starting-up and adjustment works were under way.
The capabilities of the Center enable Venezuelan pilots to undergo comprehensive training in the operation and use of Mi-17V-5, Mi-35M and Mi-26T helicopters in conditions as close to reality as possible through modeling various abnormal situations that may arise in flight. Training at such a Center significantly shortens the flight training period for pilots and considerably saves costs for their training in general.
Rosoboronexport and other Russian organizations, involved in Russian-Venezuelan military-technical cooperation, remain committed to deepening cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and other government agencies of Venezuela, paying special attention to training, as well as timely maintenance of the delivered equipment.
Today, the helicopters delivered to Venezuela from Russia not only participate in routine military activities and operations against smugglers, but also successfully cope with aerial reconnaissance of forest fires, rescue and evacuation activities in the regions affected by natural disasters, as well as with the delivery of humanitarian goods (food and property).